Sander Kaplan is a busy man. He and his wife, Lyncherie, are owners of A Candie’s Limousines and Motorcoaches, a thriving multi-faceted company with limousines, classic cars, sedan service and seven large motorcoaches. He also oversees the construction and administrative functions of nine Burger King restaurants in Alachua, Levy, Putnam and Columbia counties.
Through all of his experience, Kaplan has learned that there are many benefits of doing business with local establishments.
“Most things that we buy we purchase in town when we can,” said Kaplan. “In our opinion, purchasing in town creates more jobs in town, because when businesses do better they need more help and they hire more.”
From gasoline suppliers to body work, from hardware to public relations, A Candie’s works with Gainesville area proprietors whenever possible. At his Burger King restaurants, for which most food supplies go through corporate channels, Kaplan manages to find local businesses for pest control, septic service and other needs.
“This is just another way we can support each other, grow our economy and protect local jobs,” said Brent Christensen, president and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “When we buy local, we all benefit.”
Kaplan’s business expanded into motorcoaches six years ago in order to fulfill a local need.
“UF was bringing in coaches from Orlando and Jacksonville,” said Kaplan. “There was nobody in town that could handle their business.”
The university saw that Kaplan could supply motorcoaches for less money because he didn’t have to bring them in from two hours away (and therefore used less gas).
Additionally, the risk of motorcoaches arriving late due to traffic or breakdowns was greatly reduced or eliminated completely.
“I bought my first coach, and then had to by a second coach within six months, and three to four months later I had to buy a third. It was a win-win for everyone,” he said.
Today Kaplan is a member of the Chamber’s Business Advisory Council (BAC) and his companies embody the spirit of supporting the local economy.
“I’m not one to go and purchase something out of Orlando that I can get in Gainesville just because it’s $10 cheaper. It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” said Kaplan. “We’d rather buy local even if we have to pay a little bit more.”